By Lauren Lege
I’ve been on the hunt for this season’s top sound selections, and I know I’m not alone. With platforms like Pandora, Sound Cloud, and Grooveshark, there’s enough variety swirling around out there to piece together your own concerto grosso. It can be overwhelming, so we did the work for you, in collaboration with Seaside’s Central Square Records to bring you the skinny on this year’s Top Ten Beach Beats.
ALLAH LAS – “CATAMARAN”
“Three of [the band members] met while working in the famous record store Amoeba, and their consistent groove suggests they spend their days surfing, skating and chilling out in sun-kissed California…Fuzzy, distorted guitars, maracas, vocals put through vintage microphones and a Hammond organ (‘Catamaran’) create an unmistakably vintage sound. The snag? Hanging out on the beach can get a bit boring. As much as the album is warm, wistful and pleasant, every song is a variation on the others, using similar chords and the same key, although final track ‘Long Journey’ packs more of a punch,” writes NME’s Lucy Jones.
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NEW MADRID – “AND SHE SMILES”
“The moody space of ‘Homesick’ is a fascinating overcast counterpoint to the late-afternoon haze of the rest of the record, while ‘And She Smiles’ builds from soft near-silence into the album’s tightest beat and leanest, most experimental guitar work,” says PopMatters’ Mathew Fiander. “It feels both physical and fleeting. That New Madrid can pull off so many seeming opposites at once on Sunswimmer is impressive, but the fact that they’re housed in such striking, well-crafted songs, is what makes this album so strong.”
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